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Racism and xenophobia against migrants in South Africa and Cyprus

In South Africa, anti-immigrant groups are gaining popularity, spreading anti-immigrant rhetoric and attacking immigrant communities. The groups blame immigrants for the state of the country’s economy, lack of housing and growing drug addiction. The most famous anti-immigration group in South Africa is Operation Dudula. Its members say they stand up for ordinary people who have been let down by the government and deny allegations that they are a vigilante, violent group. At the same time, they physically attack small immigrant business owners and force them to give up their businesses. According to critics, they are ordinary bandits whose targets are the most defenceless inhabitants of the country.

Criticism of the government and the Cypriot authorities is growing after attacks on immigrants, their shops and restaurants in Limassol. During the march, right-wing extremists also attacked those immigrants who had been living in Cyprus for many years. According to the victims, the passivity of the police was symptomatic as they did not intervene. After brutal anti-immigrant attacks, city residents took to the streets to protest against fascism and right-wing extremism. Moreover, just before the march, there were violent clashes between Syrians seeking asylum and residents of Chloraki, a town located approximately 70 km west of Limassol. According to the Cypriot Ministry of Interior, refugees and migrants constitute 6% of the population of Cyprus. No other European Union country receives as many asylum applications per capita as Cyprus.

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